Indian River County, Florida was at its best and worst on Sunday afternoon May 29, 2020 across the street from the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.
More than 400 people showed up for a rally organized by Merchon Green, founder of Pioneering Change, Inc., against police brutality in the death last week in Minneapolis of George Floyd.
Pioneering Change is a community action nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of citizens living in impoverished communities by encouraging unity, self sufficiency, resolution to issues plaguing their communities and creating future leaders.
“Wanting equal treatment doesn’t stand for hate,” Green said. “It’s just saying we want to live. We want to feel protected and served.”
The best is that black, white, brown families with kids, grandparents and pets lined up along 41st Street to express their anger and their sorrow. They heard speeches, waved signs, sang slogans and prayed.
Though invited, the worst was that Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar and his associate Major Eric Flowers were no shows.
If Loar had a hint of humanity, he would have come. He could’ve taken to the microphone and say: “I hear you. The cops who killed George Floyd are thugs and criminals. And I can promise you this won’t happen here.”
Just like Michigan Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson who spoke about “how law enforcement and the community can better work together;” and then took off his helmet and gun and marched with the protesters. “Enough is enough on our end.”
Or Latino Houston, TX police chief Art Acevedo who shouted to protesters: “We built this Country. We’re not going nowhere. This city is a majority minority city where blacks and browns and legal and illegals all get together because we judge each other by the content of our hearts.”
Black people are Sheriff Loar’s constituents, too. And grieving people who worry whether they could be next need reassurance.
Sheriff Loar could have assigned a pair of deputies to do traffic look out for the protesters hours after rednecks throughout the city threatened in countless Facebook posts to “bring guns.”
Instead, Sheriff Loar and failed his constituents miserably by leaving them unprotected from traffic and crazies.
Major Flowers missed an opportunity to bolster his campaign for Sheriff and attract black voters who are being mobilized to vote.
Some of the material in this article was extracted and paraphrased by an article by Jose Lambiet’s Palm Beach Research International.